Navigation Links
New 'smart' nanotherapeutics can deliver drugs directly to the pancreas
Date:1/12/2012

BOSTON, January 12, 2012: A research collaboration between the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Children's Hospital Boston has developed "smart" injectable nanotherapeutics that can be programmed to selectively deliver drugs to the cells of the pancreas. Although this nanotechnology will need significant additional testing and development before being ready for clinical use, it could potentially improve treatment for Type I diabetes by increasing therapeutic efficacy and reducing side effects.

The approach was found to increase drug efficacy by 200-fold in in vitro studies based on the ability of these nanomaterials to both protect the drug from degradation and concentrate it at key target sites, such as regions of the pancreas that contain the insulin-producing cells. The dramatic increase in efficacy also means that much smaller amounts of drugs would be needed for treatment, opening the possibility of significantly reduced toxic side effects, as well as lower treatment costs.

The research was led by Wyss Institute Founding Director Donald Ingber M.D., Ph.D. and Kaustabh Ghosh, Ph.D., a former postdoctoral fellow at Children's Hospital Boston. Their findings appear in the current issue of Nano Letters. Ingber is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston, and Professor of Bioengineering at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Ghosh is now an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at the University of California, Riverside. Wyss Institute Postdoctoral Fellows, Umai Kanapathipillai and Netanel Korin, also contributed to the work, as did Jason McCarthy, Assistant Professor in Radiology at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant in Chemistry at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Type I diabetes, which often strikes children and young adults, is a debilitating disease in which the body's immune system progressively destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, as many as 3 million Americans have the disease and some 30,000 new cases are diagnosed every year.

The risk of developing Type I diabetes, which can lead to serious health complications such as kidney failure and blindness, can be predicted with 90 percent accuracy. But therapeutic intervention for people identified as high risk has been limited because many systemic treatments are barred from clinical use due to the severe side effects they produce when used at the high doses required to achieve a therapeutic response.

"The consequences of Type I diabetes are felt in both the people who live with the disease and in the terrible strain that treatment costs put on the economy," said Ingber. "In keeping with our vision at the Wyss Institute, we hope that the programmable nanotherapy we have developed here will have a major positive impact on people's lives in the future."

Using nanoparticles that can be programmed to deliver drug or stem cell therapies to specific disease sites is an excellent alternative to systemic treatments because improved responses can be obtained with significantly lower therapeutic doses and hence, fewer side effects. To date, such nanotherapeutics have been developed primarily to treat cancer, since they can home in on the tumor via its leaky blood vessels. The challenge has been to develop ways to selectively deliver drugs to treat other diseases in which the tissues of interest are not as easily targeted. The research team addressed this problem by using a unique homing peptide molecule to create "smart" nanoparticles that can seek out and bind to the capillary blood vessels in the islets of the pancreas that feed the insulin-producing cells most at risk during disease onset.


'/>"/>

Contact: Twig Mowatt
twig.mowatt@wyss.harvard.edu
617-432-1547
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. WPI receives $1.2 million to develop smart phone app for advanced diabetes and wound care
2. SmartActions Artificial Intelligence IVR Solution Receives PCI Certification
3. Climate-smart agriculture should be livelihood-smart too
4. Smart swarms of bacteria inspire robotics researchers
5. NIH awards group $4.5 million for smart artificial pancreas technology
6. Smarter toxins help crops fight resistant pests
7. Caltech engineers build smart petri dish
8. Card Logistics to Auction Smart Card Gaming Technology at Upcoming ICAP Patent Brokerage Fall 2011 Live IP Auction in San Francisco
9. Sea smarts: Scientists reconstruct evolutionary history of mollusks
10. Outsmarting algae -- RIT scientist finds the turn-off switch
11. LCC science projects receive $1.2 million through WaterSMART program
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... Technology Enhancements Accelerate Growth of X-ray Imaging ... and computed radiography markets in Thailand ... Indonesia (TIM). It provides an in-depth analysis ... as regional market drivers and restraints. The study offers ... market attractiveness, both for digital and computed radiography. Market ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... smart wallet ( www.wocketwallet.com ) announces the launch of a new video ... Las Vegas , where Joey appeared at the Wocket ... Vegas , where Joey appeared at the Wocket booth to meet ... filmed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES2016) in Las Vegas ... greet fans. --> --> The ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... DUBLIN , January 22, 2016 ... has announced the addition of the  ... to their offering. --> ... of the  "Global Behavioral Biometric Market ... --> Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4lmf2s/global_behavioral ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... 2016 MedGenome,s Commitment Will ... Understanding of Complex Diseases Such as Cancer, Metabolic ... --> --> MedGenome, the ... a leading provider of genomics research services globally, ... the GenomeAsia 100K consortium as a founding member. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016  Bioethics International, a not-for-profit organization focused ... developed, marketed and made accessible to patients around the world, ... had named the publication of the Good Pharma Scorecard ... is also featured as one of BMJ Open ,s ... year that are most frequently read. Ed Sucksmith ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... DELRAY BEACH, Florida , February 11, 2016 ... --> PositiveID Corporation ("PositiveID" or "Company") (OTCQB: ... and diagnostics, announced today that its Thermomedics subsidiary, ... significant progress on its growth plan in January ... healthcare products distributors, increasing sequential monthly sales growth, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... - BioAmber Inc. (NYSE: BIOA ), a leader ... & Co. Ltd., its partner in the ... an additional CDN$25 million in the joint venture for ... to 40%.  Mitsui will also play a stronger role ... Sarnia , providing dedicated resources alongside BioAmber,s ...
Breaking Biology Technology: